Before 2003, virtually every proposed cell antenna was defeated at the San Francisco Planning Commission. Of the few that made it through the Planning Commission, most of those were appealed to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and defeated. Verizon Wireless realized a strategic and concentrated community outreach effort was necessary. In November 2003, BMWL was hired and the firm put a system in place to reach out to the necessary constituents, supply the Planning Commissioners with information they wanted to see, and provide resistance to any appeal to the Board of Supervisors. The strength of the system was in the early identification of and communication with established community leaders and organizations. Meetings, both with individuals and groups, were held and attendees were actively recruited using mailers, word of mouth, phone calls and other outreach tools. Over the course of five years, Verizon Wireless proposed 20 antenna sites in San Francisco. With the plan put forward and implemented by BMWL, all 20 sites were approved. Verizon Wireless had by far the most successful approval rate for new antenna sites in San Francisco.
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